AWLN Tanzania Chapter urges women to vie for posts in polls

By Guardian Correspondent , The Guardian
Published at 10:06 AM May 20 2024
Ballot box
Photo: File
Ballot box

AFRICAN Women Leaders Network (AWLN) Tanzania Chapter has urged political parties in the country to nominate many capable women to vie for posts of chairperson of hamlet and mitaa in the local government elections later this year.

AWLIN Tanzania Chapter members’ meeting in  Dar es Salaam at the weekend  noted with concern the negligible number of  elected women leaders at local government  level, suggesting that  democratic values   which include  gender equality  is yet to became a reality in the country. 

Presenting a paper titled ‘Women’s Political Participation Trends in Tanzania’ to AWLN members’ meeting, political specialist Dr Victoria Lihiru said out of 11,916 Village chairpersons in the country, women are only 246 which is equivalent to 2.1 percent. 

Similarly, in towns and cities where one would expect   increased number of elected women leaders at local level, the trend is more like in villages because out of the 4,171 towns and cities, women mtaa chairpersons are 528  which is equivalent to12.6 percent while  out of 58,441 hamlets, women chairpersons are 4.171 ( 6.7 percent).

The data suggest that   there are a  few women  leaders who can  advocate  for resources to trickle down from the councils to solve issues affecting women and children’s lives  such as  lack of clean and safe drinking water .

After presenting the data, Dr Lihiru said: “The broad picture which the data give us is in Tanzania there are very dew elected women leaders at local level.”

AWLN Coordinator Mary Ndayo said   to ensure that local government elections scheduled for later this year make a difference in the increase of elected women leaders, the polls should be top on the agenda of women leaders’ network.

Gertrude Mongela who is one of the pioneers of AWLN encouraged all women who believe that they have leadership qualities to vie for elective posts because it is their right. 

Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, another AWLM pioneer said for AWLN to make a difference in transforming women leadership in the country three key issues namely ideas, organization and money should be seriously considered.

The issue of money was farther amplified by co- chairpersons of AWLN Mary Rusimbi and Rebeca Gyumi who thanked development partners whose financial support made AWLN Tanzania Chapter members’ meeting a reality. 

Delivering a solidarity message through video link to the meeting, Bineta Diop, AWLN Convener and AU special envoy on women peace and security said when women leaders strategize and work together, have the power to inspire the future.

AWLN Tanzania Chapter is led by a strategic steering committee and its members are from across the country. 

AWLN is movement of African women leaders which aims to enhance leadership of women i transformation of Africa in line with Africa agenda 2063 and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

It was launched in 2017 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and and is supported by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations (UN).